N15bn: More heads to roll


Several top government officials may be suspended soon in connection with the N15 billion hauled from a private apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke for holding on to the fund for two years without disclosing it.

He also ordered a top level investigation headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

A source hinted yesterday that some other government officials had been linked to the issue. The president has told the committee no one should be spared.

The three-man panel is to unravel the circumstances in which the NIA came into the possession of the fund. The panel will also unravel how and by whose or which authority such fund was made available to the agency, and whether or not there had been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the fund.

The source disclosed that the panel had “compelling reasons” to invite top officials for questioning.

The source, who is close to the panel, however, declined naming the affected officials.

According to him, the panellists were shocked at the evidence presented to them last Friday by the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, whose operatives recovered the money.

“Names of many top government officials have been mentioned in respect of the money found at an apartment in Ikoyi. The panel has compelling reasons to invite all of them for interrogation. But beyond that, those officials are going to be suspended soon. Mr President will not spare anyone involved,” he said.

Kyari, Daura haven’t resigned

Meanwhile, the Presidency yesterday denied media report that the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Director-General of the Department of State Security, Lawal Musa Daura, have resigned from their positions.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, dismissed the rumour via a text message sent to our correspondent last night.

He described an online media report that Kyari and Daura had resigned as “pure mischief.”

He explained that while President Muhammadu Buhari sent Kyari to China on an assignment Daura was busy working as of yesterday evening.

Shehu said: “That report is pure mischief. What I can tell you is that the president sent the Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, to China on an assignment and we are expecting him by the middle of the week.

“The Director-General of the DSS, who spoke with me a few hours ago, is busy on his job. Nothing to indicate resignation. I think these are mere distractions.”

The panel is also investigating the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East.

The two other panellists are the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The panel has two weeks to submit its report to the president.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, had, in a statement Saturday, assured that the panel would conduct its assignment with utmost diligence and without fear or favour.

Akande had also said that not only would the panel invite all relevant officials and private individuals who might be connected to both cases, but would also obtain and scrutinize documents that “may throw some light on the issues raised in both cases.”